Archive for March, 2010


NYC: Walking to dumbo

Heading to Dumbo via the Manhattan Bridge.

On Saturday morning we trekked across the Manhattan Bridge over to Dumbo. This area, just north of the Brooklyn Bridge, was discovered in the 1880’s. With it’s access to shipping, the neighborhood saw a rise of factories, warehouses, and dock storehouses. Although the area has been known in the past as Rapailie, Olympia, Gairville, or Walentasville, it is now known as Dumbo (which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and these old factories have been converted into luxury lofts and old warehouses into art galleries and theaters. With its exposed Belgian block streets anchored by massive bridge structures, Dumbo has a unique character all its own.

A "Kodak moment" on the Manhattan Bridge.

As we walked across the Manhattan Bridge we were able to catch a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.

There are several pockets of grafitti on the bridge.

Neck Face as seen from the Manhattan Bridge.

In Dumbo with Brooklyn Bridge behind us.

Looking through Dumbo at the Manhattan Bridge.

While we were waiting for the Dumbo galleries to open, we stopped by the P.S. Bookshop. This place is cozy, has a GREAT selection of art and design books, and the woman behind the counter was very helpful. Almost an hour shot by! I made a purchase and we headed out the door to find some lunch and some galleries.

The P.S. Bookshop, Dumbo.

After some pizza and a beer, we headed out to see some galleries. Our first stop was StudioEIS (pronounced “Studio Ice”) is a sculpture and design studio in BrooklynNew YorkUSA. It specializes in “visual storytelling” — the production of figurative sculpture in bronze, stone, and resin for narrative exhibitions at cultural institutions, museums, and corporations worldwide. StudioEIS had an exhibition titled Abraham LIncoln One Man, Two Views. Here are a few photos:

A look into the artist's studio.

I will cover the other Dumbo studios we visited in a future blog!


NYC: Gallery walk through chelsea

All of the art in Chelsea is NOT in the galleries!

After our walk on the High Line it was time to hit the Chelsea Galleries. It seems that more and more condos are opening up in Chelsea, which means less galleries. Now I have no figures to back this up, but several of us noticed a change happening here.

At the Pace Gallery  we saw some big stuff! Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby has created two large-scale works for Pace’s 22nd Street space. One is a hollowed out and reconfigured bus with individual locked cages replacing the normal bus seating. In the back is an area filled with subwoofers. We took a walk through the bus and looks like some kind of prison transportation device from the future. Strange! I spoke with one of the gallery staff who told me the mass the of speakers do not really play, and that the bus itself had a previous life promoting Mountain Due.

Cage Bus by Sterling Ruby.

One of several huge "black walls" by Banks Violette at the Gladstone Gallery.

I forget the gallery, but the entire show seemed to based on the Wizard of Ox.

Part of the Calder show at Gagosian Gallery.

I saw this sticker on a wall in Chelsea.

Like I said, not all the art is inside!

After a day of visiting several dozen galleries, Lambros and Paul went to an off-Broadway play, and I walked to the Sunshine Theater on Houston Street to see the film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. What a fantastic movie! The crowded theatre actually gave an ovation at the end of the film. When was the last time you experienced that at a movie theater?

Yonah Shimmel Kinishery.

After the film I stumbled upon the Yonah Schimmel’s Downtown Knishery. Yonah’s has been dishing up brick-sized knishes since 1910.  If you’ve never had a knish, get yourself to 137 East Houston Street. I picked up two, one spinich and one brocoli to take back to the hotel.

The main man at Yonah Schimmel Kinishery.


NYC: The High Line Park

Paul at the 14th Street entrance to the High LIne Park.

Our Friday plans included visiting the galleries in Chelsea, but most of them do not open until 11 am. So we took the subway to 14th Street where we took the stairs to the High Line Park, which is located on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues. Section 1 of the High Line, which opened to the public on June 9, 2009, runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street.

The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.

It was a perfect morning for walking the High Line, sunny and near 70 degrees. Below are some pictures from our walk:

Our group on the High Line.


NYC: part one

St, Patrick's Day, Times Square style.

St. Patrick's Day, TImes Square style.

Sixteen of us from West Liberty University arrived in New York on St. Patrick’s Day. Four art faculty members and twelve students made this year’s “art trip” to Manhattan. It seems to have become a tradition that we check out TImes Square on our first evening in the city, and so it would be this year. But first, we had to visit the Strand Bookstore and see if we could put a dent in their “18 miles of books”!

As for Times Square, it had undergone a change since out last visit. In spring of 2009, an experiment was put into place whereby TImes Square was made pedestrian friendly and closed off to traffic. After an eight month trial, Mayor Bloomburg announced in February that Broadway from 42nd to 47th would be closed to traffic and the pedestrian mall would be permanent. There are mixed reviews on the concept, but I thought it was improvement. While I realize there are those individuals who miss the hustle and bustle of the traffic, and may even miss TImes Square’s former seediness. . Let’s face it, TImes Square has evolved into the Disneyland of NYC. And while it may not make my “top ten spots to visit in NYC”, I like the transition.  I found it easier to navigate and much more human freindly overall.

Times Square pedestrian plaza.

The next morning we headed to the MOMA, for which we had timed tickets for the Tim Burton exhibition. Also at the MOMA we viewed the phenomenal work of William Kentridge, as well as works by Marina Abramovic and Yin Xiuzhen. Also on this day we visited the Whitney Biennial and the MAD Museum. MAD (Museum of Art and Design) had two kick-butt exhibitions: Slash, Paper Under the Knife, and a retrospective of the work of Viola Frey. Both shows were WOW! Below are a few photos of our day:

It's hard for me not to stop and photograph graffitti. This image of Spock was on our way to the subway.

We discovered this bakery on our morning travels.

Now if I could just get the smell of the bread into this blog. And yes, the bread was delicious!

Lambros stocking up on ginger and garlic.

Entrance to the Tim Burton exhibition.

Artist Marina Abramovic and guest.

Taking a break in Central Park on our way to the MAD.

"Man Balancing an Urn", one of the works in Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey at the MAD.


Masking Tape Shoes

Great attention to detail on this shoe made of 100% masking tape.

One of the classes I teach at West Liberty University  is ART 160/ Design II. This class is an introduction to 3D design and is comprised mostly of freshmen who are majoring in graphic design or art education. I had presented the Masking Tape Shoe Project to my Design II classes for about four years straight, but had not used it since 2007. I decided to bring it back this semester to all three sections of ART 160.

Each student is required to adopt a “real” shoe as a model (no flip flops!) and create a copy using ONLY masking tape. Below are more examples of the 40+ shoes that were created this semester.

Some of this semesters tape shoes on display in the Hall of Fine Arts.

Nice detail work on this hiking boot.

Another view of the tape shoe display.


This student captured the look of lace in her shoe.

One of several athletic shoes that were created.

Another example of the high heeled shoes that were turned in.

During our critique, most of the students stated that they actually enjoyed the project, but several felt it was something close to torture. I have thought of doing the project with duct tape, and while duct tape shoes would be much stronger and more stable, there is the issue of cost. Masking tape can be purchased for about 25% of what a roll of duct tape costs. Please email me with any comments you have about this project!


Handbuilding in Clay with Scott Bennett

Scott Bennett and some of the people taking the workshop at West Liberty University: from left, me, Lambros, Melissa, Ryan, Betsy, Herb, Meghan, Paul, Cheryl, Scott, and Roger.

Currently at the Nutting Gallery at West Liberty State College we are showing Argillaceous: The Clay Invitational, February 17 through March 18, 2010. The exhibition is made up of fifteen clay artists from six states exhibiting over sixty original works in clay. The participating artists are Michael Angelotti, Scott Bennett, Betsy Cox, Dana Goodman, Kyle Hallam, Rick Morgan, Eric Pardue, Susan Phillips, Larry Schieman, Matthew Schieman, Regina Swim, Lambros Tsuhlares, Steve Vasiliou, Chris Vivas, and Herb Weaver. This group of clay artists represent the states of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Alabama, and Florida.

One of the exhibiting artists, Scott Bennett, presented a two day handbuilding workshop on March 4 and 5. A West Liberty alum, Scott lives and creates his art in Birmingham, Alabama. Check him out at Red Dot Gallery. Here are photos from the 2-day workshop, where we learned AND had fun!

Our fearless leader of this workshop, Scott Bennett.

Scott showing us his approach to handbuilding.

Rick Morgan: clay artist, West Lib alum, and Stifel Fine Arts Center's main man!

Betsy having too much fun!

Herb trying to intimidate the rest of us.

Wow! If Herb's toolbox could talk!

Paul and Lambros trying to find their work in the latest issue of Art Forum.

Cheryl working hard!

Ryan, whose only wish was to get into this blog, is flanked by Melissa and Cody.

I am in awe regarding the work of Lambros, AKA The Clay Ninja.

Roger proudly shows off what he has learned, and reminds us not to feed the squirrels.

Some of the work at the end of the day.

A few more works in the process of drying.

Herb says "Keep it simple."